No genre but fantasy can so easily transport me out of reality. Nothing else can so effortlessly help me avoid the troubles and responsibilities of everyday life.

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and I’ve been reading mostly fantasy. Sure, I’m still making progress on that goal of mine to read more diversely, but escapism has always been a motivating factor for me. And, as you might imagine, I’ve needed to get out of my head a lot these last few months.

I’ve read a retelling of Peter Pan as told by Tiger Lily. I’ve reveled in the rewoven fairy tales of Beauty and the Beast and the love story of Hades and Persephone in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I’ve traveled to far distant points of time and space through the final installments of the Ender’s Game saga. I’ve imagined worlds of magic and mystery, ones where twin souls shared one body and ones with video gamers destined to save the world from alien invasions.

I’ve run about as far away from my problems as my imagination could take me lately.

Escapism: the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

I escape through the written word. Give me a newspaper or a biography to read and I’ll be alright. But I escape most easily through fantasy, when I can leave behind any ties to the real world, my life, my problems. When I can stop caring about how my actions and inactions affect things. When I can take a complete backseat to what’s going on inside the book and just settle in as nothing more than a casual observer to some character’s made up journey.

Fantasy wraps me in its spell, weaves for me a world so far outside of my own that it helps me breathe. When I’m out there I can focus, even if where I’m standing in reality is a little twisted up.


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